I’m clearly biased here. I know this. That being the case, it’s difficult for this humble narrator to offer an assessment of the first presidential debate without sounding too subjective. But in a word, John McCain was OWNED this time around. To be sure, Obama’s performance wasn’t enough to deliver a knockout blow; especially considering that he’s got his own serious problems to contend with during this election. Nevertheless, I truly believe that Obama took home the door prize of the evening and won this first debate.
All throughout the evening, Senator Obama appeared calm, collected, and confident (which I’m sure people will translate as “uppity“). Meanwhile Senator McCain came across as uncomfortable and confused. He seemed a little desperate to toss out smears that have become a staple of his campaign, but was unable to deal with the volleys that came from Obama. There were a couple of instances where McCain was successful in being the aggressor. But ultimately, he was left bloodied by Obama attacks which – up to this point – were virtually lightweight. For example, I don’t think McCain anticipated Obama actually interrupting him as a lie or exaggeration was being told. It caught him off guard, thus making it hard for him to punctuate the point.
Now, I ain’t gon even lie: Obama contributed to the “No I didn’t. Yes you did.” school yard argument when the issue of tax breaks for oil companies emerged. Still, he did a great job overall — especially when you compare his performance to McCain’s.
A few of Obama’s best shots came when he took on McCain directly:
…when the war started, you said it was going to be quick and easy. You said you knew where the weapons of mass destruction were – and you were wrong. You said we were going to be greeted as liberators – you were wrong. You said that there was no history of violence between Shi’a and Sunni, and you were wrong. …if the question is, who is best equipped as the next president to make good decisions about how we use our military, how we make sure we are prepared and ready for the next conflict, then I think we can take a look at our judgment.
Then, there was this slap; undoubtedly the line of year for me:
It’s been your president who you said agreed with 90% of the time who supported this orgy of spending.
And for good measure:
…presidents have to be prudent in what they say. But, coming from you, who…you know, in the past, threatened extinction for North Korea and sung songs about bombing Iran…I don’t know how credible that is.
Game. Set. Match.
Maybe I’m just getting carried away, but methinks the McCain camp is a little worried now. Immediately after the debate, this nonsense aired:
I’m trying to bottle my laughter.
As for Obama: I know the attacks he dropped goes against everything he wanted for this campaign, but it was quite necessary for him to go to this place. McCain had been having his way with Obama through the ads up until now. Obama had to recover from those wounds. And he did just that tonight.
As a side note, Jim Leher did an OUTSTANDING job as the moderator. He kept things going at a reasonable paced and kept the debate between the candidates. Great job Mr. Leher!
Well, that’s it. Until part 2, let our debating begin. Holla at me!